Thursday, December 24, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 1 ...




… and so, boys and girls, we come to the end of the Kitschmas Advent Calendar for another year. I hope I’ve managed to entertain you this past month and a half.


What have we learned? That Christmas (at least in our odd universe) is filled with Magic Mushrooms and rides on Pink Pigs, in a world where Robots sing Carols and Father Christmases are the Rarest Export of them all!


From horrible Christmas Sweaters and even worse movies, to clay-animated witches pinch-hitting for Santa when times are tough, and Christmas cookies screaming out their death throes as Santa devours them, we’ve covered a LOT of ground!


For our final entry this year, we take you back to 1948, when the jolliest part of Christmas was watching a loving couple beat the Living Hell out of each other with a BIG Stick! Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourselves for Santa Claus Punch and Judy!


www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNU5lvrIeGY


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But wait! What’s this? As with all the very best Christmases, there’s always One Last Gift tucked away under the tree – if you were with us last year, you remember it was the link to HUNDREDS of bizarre record covers. This year’s final treat is a real rarity, and one you may have to see a doctor for when it’s done to re-align your jaw: from 1964, an unsold TV pilot called ALEXANDER THE GREAT starring our very own Conjure Cinema Mascot, William Shatner ... AND Adam West!!!


io9.com/5413427/captain-kirk-and-batman-team-up-in-ancient-greece


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That’s it, kiddies! My regular movie blog will return in early January, and I hope you’ll return, as well. My thanks to you all for coming along on this Holiday Odyssey … even though I’ve kidded the Season in every way possible, please accept my sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 2 ...






T - 2:


As a public service, our next-to-last entry is for all you Last-Minute Lazybones, or those of you who have the WORST person on the planet to buy for every year at Christmas ... may we suggest the following?


First, for the fanboy who has EVERYTHING, the MILLENIUM FALCON
 BED: http://www.neatorama.com/2009/12/13/millenium-falcon-bed/


Next, for those times your brave Jedi LEAVES the bed and goes camping, a TAUNTAUN SLEEPING BAG: www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/bb2e/?cpg=cj


For the "real man" in you life (or male friend who likes to brag), the CONDOM PILLOW: www.geekologie.com/2009/12/condom_pillow_helps_prevent_ni.php


Finally, EVERY kid LOVES dinosaurs, so you could be the BEST relative when you show up at the house with a 37-POUND STUFFED TRICERATOPS! Scroll down to read about KOTA, and watch the video clip ... Mom and Dad will have great things to say about you, as well, when you leave this beast at their house! images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.geekologie.com/2008/10/10/dinosaur-toy.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.geekologie.com/mt/mt-search.cgi%3Ftag%3Drides%26blog_id%3D1&usg=__X_BjLXj269PEjGTlSgCs3mRtXp0=&h=395&w=450&sz=18&hl=en&start=770&tbnid=SU9zrB3NexFdPM:&tbnh=111&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dawesome%2Bchristmas%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D756


So get cracking there, sluggards! Time's a-wastin'!


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We've saved the best for last, my friends! If you've managed to hang in there so far, be sure to tune in tomorrow as we wrap up the 2009 K.A.C. with out Very Last Entry ... and a MAGNIFICENT Final Christmas Present that has to be SEEN to be BELIEVED!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 3 ...



T - 3:


Ah, December! Time for snow ... and public nudity. Presents for loved ones ... and public nudity. Good food, good cheer ... and Public Nudity! What am I going on about today? Just this little ditty lovingly entitled "Pagan Orgies to Human Sacrifice: The Bizarre Origins of Christmas" ... Enjoy! www.cracked.com/article_15719_pagan-orgies-human-sacrifice-bizarre-origins-christmas.html


Two more to go ...

Monday, December 21, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 6, 5 and 4 ...




Good morning, my Terrorized Tree Trimmers! We're in the final home stretch 'till Christmas, and I don't know about you, but here in New England, we just got 12 inches of the white stuff ... not, not THAT white stuff ... I mean SNOW! So my son gets his White Christmas, after all ... and YOU get this!


T - 6:


From io9 comes the Best And Worst Geek Holiday Decor: From Santa Cthulhu To Fetus Baubles {for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list!} io9.com/5421207/best-and-worst-geek-holiday-decor-from-santa-cthulhu-to-fetus-baubles?skyline=true&s=x


T - 5:


ABBA's Fondue Holiday Party, from 1974 ... that's all I'm sayin' ... images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6hDZt1e0ofY/SVMF7u8Z5XI/AAAAAAAACuM/njc1XUPgePk/s400/santa%2Bmushroom%2B3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html&usg=__vHDMhNBJMB6UeaVlM4WPHNtWa20=&h=346&w=298&sz=42&hl=en&start=287&itbs=1&tbnid=mEpZQQ339EA5vM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristmas%2Bretro%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D273


T - 4:


We'll wrap up today in a Big Christmas Bow, just like the one Baby Tabitha is wearing above, with this link to Christmas on TV, with all of your old-time TV favorites ... you might want an insulin shot before checking out all the sickly sweetness that follows! images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6hDZt1e0ofY/SVMF7u8Z5XI/AAAAAAAACuM/njc1XUPgePk/s400/santa%2Bmushroom%2B3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html&usg=__vHDMhNBJMB6UeaVlM4WPHNtWa20=&h=346&w=298&sz=42&hl=en&start=287&itbs=1&tbnid=mEpZQQ339EA5vM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristmas%2Bretro%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D273


Only THREE more to go! See you tomorrow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 7 ...





This Is It! One week to go, my Palpitating Persent Purchasers! Have you braved the crowds yet? Been beaten down into submission by sarcastic clerks? Stand up for yourself and say "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it ANYMORE!!!" >:O
Oh, wait, wrong movie ... you know what, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Check out this site for some HILARIOUS Christmas Snark! My hat's off to the creator of this site, who takes old vintage ads, etc., and goes all MST3K on them - the examples to the left are just a few nuggets in this goldmine! images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://fixitordeal.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/1bracelets.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fixitordeal.wordpress.com/tag/retro-ads/&usg=__FEnNHB8eDXwrBz76phF5UgX315M=&h=694&w=670&sz=174&hl=en&start=10&itbs=1&tbnid=jO0qiMjnbUACwM:&tbnh=139&tbnw=134&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristmas%2Bretro%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den


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Annnnnnnnnnnddddddddddd .... it's an anniversary date for three Very Special People at the K.A.C. - it was on this date, December 18th, 1956, that WGN-TV in Chicago introduced kiddies to The Three Dwarfs: Hardrock, Coco and Joe! It's become a holiday staple now around the country and here at the K.A.C., as well - I should warn you, however, that the song that accompanies the video is a total earworm --- once it's in your head, it's IMPOSSIBLE to get out! Oh, and a further warning: don't get too close to Santa here ... he bites! www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDM6Bbt9WDY


Damnit --- I just listened to it again! Grrr ... now it's stuck in my head! Sigh ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 9 and 8 ...








T - 9:


Hi, there, my Worried Wreath Wranglers! As you can see, we're down to the SINGLE DIGITS!!! Feeling stressed out enough??? NO ??? Then let's add to your Holiday Horribleness with a Photo Quiz! Ready? Can you name all SIX of Santa's Sweeties to my left? The answers are at the very end of today's post!


T - 8:


THREE WORDS... CHRISTMAS-LUXURY-BACON ... I'm not EVEN putting up these photos - just click on the link and see for yourself! http://www.royalbaconsociety.com/2011/11/26/top-10-gift-ideas-for-the-bacon-lover-in-your-life/
******************************************************


OK, did you guess them all? The correct answers are:


1). Angelina Jolie
2). Bette Davis
3). Veronica Lake
4). Joan Crawford {yes, REALLY!}
5). Jayne Mansfield
6). Julia (later Julie) Adams {of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON fame}


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That's as pretty as we get here at the K.A.C.! Return tomorrow for our regular grittiness as we enter our Final Week - thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 10 ...


Seeing that it's the LAST of the double-digit countdown days, and seeing that it's time to gird my loins for that yearly bastion of forced hilarity, the Office Holiday Party, I'm taking a break to turn today's K.A.C. over to YOU, my Energetic Elves, and your Succulent Submissions!


First, from Peiwen comes ... Sketchy Santas! That chill you feel looking through these has NOTHING to do with snow or a Wintry Wonderland! http://sketchysantas.tumblr.com/


Next, for those of you TRULY sick of it all already, Laurie sent a Christmas poem with YOU in mind! www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHoZYeVts-Q


We close out today with Santa's Cookies, a hilariously sick item from JibJab.com, and sent to me by Beth --- thanks to you all for your forwards! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-0YfFiCZFg


OK, time for me to face the music and put on a Happy Face ... maybe I can borrow one from the Sketchy Santas! See you tomorrow!


OOPS!!! Just realized, I won't be IN tomorrow, so I'll be back Thursday with TWO entries ... consider it a brief respite to regain your sanity! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 13, 12 and 11 ...



Good Morning and Happy Monday! Just like the traditional Holiday Fruitcake, you never know what you're going to find in here, so let's go see, shall we?


T - 13:


Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish followers of the K.A.C. - just to show you're not forgotten this time of year, imagine your home decked out with a STAR TREK Menorah! A must-have, you say? Here you go: www.geekologie.com/2009/12/when_religions_collide_a_star.php


T - 12:


Does someone you know "overindulge" this time of year? Are all those unsightly beverage cans an eyesore? Do you have no money left for a tree? Well, I think we have the answer for your particular problem, as well: http://lyke2drink.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-will-santa-leave-under-your-beer.html




T - 11:


Finally today, we wish you a Harry Christmas! Make sure you take a close look at ALL THREE collages, made with various Christmas items ... they're (yes, I went there) magical! www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2763452/Have-a-Harry-Christmas.html


Enjoy, stay warm, and I'll be back tomorrow!

Friday, December 11, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 14 ...




Two weeks to go, my Frozen Friday Frolickers! Remember earlier this week, when I said how I wondered if I could top the Magic Mushroom entry? Well ... wait for it ... HERE IT IS !!!


I absolutely LOVE this film! It's called RARE EXPORTS, INC., was made in Finland, is COMPLETELY NSFW --- no, REALLY --- and is the FUNNIEST thing you will see this whole holiday season! I won't tell you the plot, as that would spoil it ... I'll let the trailer do all the talking!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQlikX4vvw



I will continue to post right up to the end, but this film wins my Personal Favorite Award of 2009 of ALL the K.A.C. posts - let me know what YOU think of it!


Have a great weekend, get YOUR last-minute orders in to Rare Exports, Inc. for your holiday needs, and I'll be back on Monday with three more entries!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 15 ...



When you were a kid, did you ever stay up late on Christmas Eve and try to see Santa? Do you know WHY your parents always told you to go to sleep, or Santa wouldn't show up? What, you REALLY thought it was because Santa was YOUR PARENTS in disguise? NO, DUMMY! The REAL reason is because Santa was a W I T C H! That's RIGHT! And if you SAW Santa-Witch, your eyes would POP right out ... OR you'd fall into a DEAD FAINT right on the ground! =:O Don't believe me??? I've got the proof right here, courtesy of Art Clokey and our old pal Pokey! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV-kYnEmbvQ








Come back tomorrow, my pretties, as we start the home stretch - the final two weeks! They promise to be magical!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 16 ...



Soooo, have you all come down from your Merry Muscaria high of yesterday? The only odder thing than that would be ... oh, I don't know ... a Christmas card featuring chihuahuas with rifles, maybe, but that's crazy talk ... that's just impossi ... umm, wait ... well, whaddya know????


Oh, yeah, he's real, and dated 1895, to boot! A VINTAGE Christmas Chihuahua With Rifle! :) Weird enough for you? NO? Then try this on for size, you curmudgeon! images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Rs53-MPsJaI/SVH-6qwpR_I/AAAAAAAAK14/vrc1kugCVGw/s400/298476427_cf259ba441_o.jpg&imgrefurl=http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html&usg=__Ib8EZRgKcTgIAwUtFbZWo6RAh_w=&h=349&w=400&sz=32&hl=en&start=11&um=1&tbnid=cZiB3U3NNTWJvM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dweird%2Bchristmas%26hl%3Den%26um%3D1


Say, don't go away mad! Tell you what, how about we share a traditional Japanese Christmas together, with ancient Japanese foods this time of year ... which would be a Party Barrel of KFC! No, (sadly), I am NOT making this up ... the marketing geniuses at Kentucky Fried Chicken convinced the populace (in 1970) that this was a traditional American Christmas dinner ... and the rest, as they say, is history! All this and MORE weird "Merii Kurisumasu" customs can be found HERE! www.tofugu.com/2007/12/25/we-wish-you-a-merii-kurisumasu/


That should keep you puzzling until tomorrow, friends! See you then!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 17 ...




OK, kiddies, strap yourselves in extra-tight to your Surreal Sleighs today, as I've got a little number that is gonna mess with your heads Big-Time! Did you know that literally EVERYTHING you thought you knew about Christmas was WRONG? Did you know that Every Single Thing regarding Christmas has to do with the AMANITA MUSCARIA MUSHROOM???!!!
According to what you're about to read, it's TRUE!!!


It's a looooong read, but stay with it to the end, as the author makes some AMAZING connections that you DON'T want to miss! Profane? Absolutely! Blasphemous? You betcha! Weird Beyond Belief? All That And MORE!!! Just WAIT 'till you get to some of his symbology ... I don't want to spoil it for you, but if you haven't already decorated your Christmas tree, you might want to forgo the tinsel this year ... just sayin'. Without further ado, we present the ULTIMATE Christmas Conspiracy Tale - The Atlantean Conspiracy, also known as Jesus, Santa, Mithra and the Magic Mushroom!
www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/atlantean_conspiracy/atlantean_conspiracy45.htm




I'm not sure even I can top this Torrid Tiramisu! Come back tomorrow, and I'll give it my best shot!

Monday, December 7, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 20, 19 and 18 ...



T - 20:


Top of the morning, my Sleighbell Seneschals! Take a break from your holiday duties to gaze in shock and awe as we present this year's edition of the Superheroes Christmas! We begin with a MAGNIFICENT find, with Santa teamed up with The Sandman to defeat the villainous Seal Men! What makes this so thrilling, you say? The fact that this unearthed, long-forgotten gem was drawn by none other than comics legend Jack "King" Kirby!!! That and the weird-ass plot that I can't BEGIN to describe, with hammer-toting elves, Nightmare Wizards, flying sleds ... you just have to read it for yourself to believe it - where? Right here! images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.the-isb.com/images/KirbyXMas09.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.the-isb.com/%3Fp%3D240&usg=__RYHImqI0R0U1C9RnPYr2hI8hcHQ=&h=253&w=300&sz=46&hl=en&start=105&itbs=1&tbnid=TwvFyYqL_eT8rM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhorrible%2Bchristmas%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D84


T - 19:


Staying with the Superhero theme, here's a fine assortment of superhero Christmas comics, from the 1940s to the present; my favorite being Superman's bratty children on Christmas morning: images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v139/mengblom/xmas_06/05_supes.jpg&imgrefurl=http://comiccoverage.typepad.com/comic_coverage/2006/12/cover_to_cover__2.html&usg=__R8z12gLpJP2WQFKWsHmahJjApGg=&h=468&w=320&sz=139&hl=en&start=212&sig2=DUeIr5ezxXmz_OPIzEacFQ&tbnid=TxnA0nYx0Qsp8M:&tbnh=128&tbnw=88&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwacky%2Bchristmas%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D198&ei=DQYDS_-VFY-qlAewr8x7


T - 18:


We'll wrap today with a Superhero of a different sort: a very nice vintage Christmas ad featuring Sean Connery in his heyday as "Bond ... James Bond" - remember, nothing says Christmas quite like ... whiskey?






Finally, is all this talk about Superheroes making you wonder what you can get the superhero in your life for Christmas this year? Fret no more, friends, you can find ALL your superhero needs here (and, yes, this IS a REAL store!): www.superherosupplies.com A superheroic thanks to Jennifer for the link ... BTW, friends who have gone there Highly Recommend the Cape Testing Station! :)


Tune in tomorrow as we go all X-FILES on you, and explain (in furtive whispers, natch!) the Conspiracy of Christmas! You will be SHOCKED by what we dug up!

Friday, December 4, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 21 ...


There, there, dry your eyes ... the Bad Clown is all gone! I know, that was mean to inflict Whizzo on those of you who are new to this. How about this? We'll make ALL those memories of Whizzoland go away with a LOVELY animated Christmas piece instead, OK? Good! Enjoy WHEN HUMANS ARE SLEEPING: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP4zfO9efu4&NR=1&feature=fvwp


Let's not stop there! Since it's the end of the week, here's a few stray Sci-Fi Wreaths of Wonderment for that certain 'Special Someone'. First, for the STAR TREK fan in your life, there's the Federation Stockings ... DON'T PUT UP THE RED ONE! www.geekologie.com/2009/12/thats_not_a_fireplace_star_tre.php


For those of you who are more of a " nuqDaq ta' SoH pol [the] yuch?" type of person, we have the Klingon Christmas Carol (pictured above): io9.com/5415625/celebrate-the-holidays-with-starfleet-cookies-a-klingon-christmas-and-abrams+inspired-trek-novels
At the same article is a link on how to make Starfleet Cookies, which will come in handy when you realize the Klingon phrase above translates in English to "Where do you keep the chocolate?" :) Don't ask how I know that ... no, really, don't ask ...


There's plenty to chew on here all weekend long! Get baking on those Starfleet cookies, and I'll see you on Monday with THREE more insane entries! Bye!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 22 ...




Hi, kiddies! Wanna have some fun? ("YAY!") Wanna see Santa Claus? ("YAAAY!") How about playtime with Whizzo the Clown??? ("YAA ... ???") Now all YOU have to do is put on these circus animal costumes and perform at Whizzoland!!! (Insert sound of children sobbing here ...)


With those opening sentences burned into your consciousness, we proudly (?) present this year's entry into the Worst Christmas Film EVER Contest! WORSE than SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, worse than the K. Gordon Murray Mexi-import SANTA CLAUS ... EVEN worse than last year's squeaker SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY comes ... SANTA'S CHRISTMAS CIRCUS!


HOW bad can it be, you ask? Rather than read MY Mangled Merriness, let's turn the honors over to the good folks at kiddiematinee.com: "An utterly bizarre concept yields an undoubtedly surreal experience. This film was more of a legend than a reality until the theatrical trailer turned up on Something Weird Video’s great Kiddie Matinee DVD for THE WONDERUL LAND OF OZ plus JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. Kansas City, Missouri Kiddie TV show host Whizzo the Clown (Frank Wizarde) stars in this regional Kiddie Matinee feature, which appears to be filmed entirely in a tiny TV studio set. The "Circus" animals appear to be small girls in dancing costumes. The film looks like nothing more than an expanded episode of the obviously claustrophobic TV show. Can this micro-budget wonder NOT be a classic badfilm? The film itself is among the missing, but from the trailer, it appears that the whole film is shot on a tiny TV set, and the "Circus" may be nothing more than mechanical Holiday window displays shot close-up!" I know, you're SAD that you can't see this classic for yourself ... I feel your pain. But all is not lost, kiddies! Take a look at the eye-searing trailer for what you WOULD have been exposed to! www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgY_8s6FFF8


SEE??? Let's all consider the fact that the full feature is lost to the Sands of Time an early Christmas present, what do you say? I thought you'd see it my way!


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OK, campers, put it behind you - suck it up on those candy canes, and report back here tomorrow --- that's an order! :) Or would you rather spend MORE time at Whizzoland? ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! =:O )

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 23 ...




Heigh-Ho, My Holiday Hallucinogens! Perhaps I should say "HIGH-HO" when you see today's entry ... I did promise they'd get weirder with each passing day, as we got closer and closer to the final day of the countdown. Well, look no further than today, as we investigate Santa on 'Shrooms! Yes, sadly true - the entire story is here for you to peruse:


images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6hDZt1e0ofY/SVMF7u8Z5XI/AAAAAAAACuM/njc1XUPgePk/s400/santa%2Bmushroom%2B3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html&usg=__vHDMhNBJMB6UeaVlM4WPHNtWa20=&h=346&w=298&sz=42&hl=en&start=287&itbs=1&tbnid=mEpZQQ339EA5vM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristmas%2Bretro%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D273


Scroll down to the "Shroom Santa" entry, then click on the "Pappy's Golden Age Comics" link; scroll down to Entry Number 231 and read the entire issue of Santa's "trip" to Wonderland ... it's a psychedelic freakout, Christmas-style, baby! :)


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Come back tomorrow as we unveil this year's entry in our ongoing search for the WORST Christmas Film of All Time! Our contender this year tops last year's SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY hands down! You might want a bite of Alice's mushroom yourself, before you brave this one!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 24 ...



We begin today with a Public Service Message ... remember, kids, DON'T light the fireplace when Santa comes down the chimney, or you get something Really Bad, like what just went down in Santa Catarina, Brazil (how's that for irony?) - the whole story is here: www.geekologie.com/2009/11/be_safe_this_holiday_season_el.php


On a happier note, continuing with yesterday's Sci-Fi Santa theme, here are a few more images along the same lines that gave me a smile - hope they'll do the same for you: media.photobucket.com/image/pulp christmas/comicsonthebrain/pulps/pulp-santa-galaxy-dec54.jpg


farm4.static.flickr.com/3296/3093563378_f9c9babfef_o.jpg


Last (and very possibly least), a little something extra - although it's not Christmas related, as such, I know how bitterly disappointed you faithful readers would be without SOME daily dose of weirdness, so here you go: trust me on this one and stick with it to the end! www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mVpGmoES3w


Back tomorrow!

Monday, November 30, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 29, 28, 27, 26 and 25 ...



T - 29:


Welcome back, my Ho-Ho-Homies! We've got a LOT of ground to cover today, so hop aboard Priscilla and join me, won't you? Say what??? Well, if you lived in Atlanta, you wouldn't have to ask --- Priscilla is the name of the Pink Pig, an annual holiday tradition/ride for the family where you ride a piggy-shaped train through various winter wonderlands while Priscilla narrates in her lovely Southern drawl ... OK, you know what? I can see I'm losing you here, so let's have Priscilla give you a guided tour herself ... All Aboard! www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpQYbgwHZ08


T - 28:


Watch your step getting off Priscilla (yeah, I know, that sounded horrible) ... is it cold in here or is it just me? I've got JUST the thing! This year's edition of ... wait for it ... Ugly Christmas Sweaters!
http://www.uglychristmassweater.com/



T - 27:


Here is your wallpaper for today --- that's all I'm saying ... I LOVE IT!!! :) [NOTE: Click on the AdsOftheWorld link to see this in it's FULL GLORY!]
images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ihazabucket.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/scifixmas.jpg&imgrefurl=http://coilhouse.net/2008/12/page/2/&usg=__bbKCwM_m0hGw4QqskkvNXFqyhPc=&h=546&w=400&sz=124&hl=en&start=12&sig2=nv4PlKb-SZOhf_sjNmU79A&itbs=1&tbnid=Ndn_4D7HKRfc6M:&tbnh=133&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3Da%2Bsci-fi%2Bchristmas%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den&ei=I-wTS9rNDNDJlQf1h7CxAg


T - 26:


Do you despise Christmas music? Well, OK, maybe not DESPISE, per se, but wish they were somehow ... shorter? Step right up, ladies and gents, for I have the solution to what ails you --- it's Christmas Carol Haikus!images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://driver8.up.seesaa.net/image/Father20Christmas20kinks.jpg&imgrefurl=http://songsinhaiku.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html&usg=__BhoRn095TMeqH_0oEnomdQmgml0=&h=334&w=325&sz=57&hl=en&start=946&sig2=_FqJBoPjKX3tu1ubv2sW2g&um=1&tbnid=0Ndw8m3R028fmM:&tbnh=119&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristmas%2B1966%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D945%26um%3D1&ei=qf8GS9fBF9DmlAesz6GFBA


T - 25:


Holiday photos are always the rage this time of year ... especially with a little dollop of that 'ol debbil Photoshop! We close today with a little something for Milo (and all you other fans of FIREFLY ... you know who you are!) media.photobucket.com/image/saffron%2Bfirefly/mavourneen1200/FireflyChristmas.jpg


Whew! I'm exhausted! That's it for today, kiddies - come back tomorrow for more Tinsel Terror ... until then, if you're looking for me, I'll be riding Priscilla, over and over and over ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 30 ...



See that number, boys and girls? T - 30 ... yes, we've hit the FOUR WEEK MARK! One month to go, kids! Makes ya want to go ballistic, maybe go a little crazy? Well, why don't you give this FANTASTIC little fillip a look-see? It's the perfect antidote to the upcoming Black Friday madness ... the One, the Only (TOTALLY NSFW) ... PULP CHRISTMAS!


www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYpfD-rP1kE


And with THAT bit of Holiday Homicide playing over and over in your brain, we'll take a break ... enjoy your Turkey Day! Check back here on Monday, the 30th for FIVE entries! See ya!

Friday, November 20, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 31 ...



WOW --- JUST --- WOW --- Somedays I really stretch for material to post, and on other days, the Yule Gods hand me a present ... there's nothing I can say to add to the magnificence of this picture! :) Use it as your wallpaper on your computer ... it can't help but cheer you up!


****************************************************************


Back tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 34, T - 33, and T - 32 ...



T - 34:


Welcome back, my Photogenic Pixies! If the photo to the left doesn't sober you up after a weekend of pre-holiday partying, I don't know WHAT will! It also heralds this year's edition of ... yes, you guessed it ... Scared of Santa!  http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-holiday-christmas-bad-santa-photogallery.html


T - 33:


What's better than a Winter Wonderland??? How about a ... Miniatur Wunderland? Take a look at this promotional video for the largest model railway in the world (located in Hamburg, Germany) - time to put on your best "Where's Waldo?" caps and spot Santa ... and the police fishing a drowned model corpse out of a model river! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN_oDdGmKyA


T - 32:


Let's end today with a look at some of the original Mad Men of Madison Avenue - you would think Christmas and advertising would go hand-in-hand, right? Usually you would be correct ... USUALLY. But, boy, when the ad campaigns go wrong, they go wrong BIG TIME - take a look! http://www.vintag.es/2014/12/20-bad-vintage-christmas-ads.html


Huh, who knew? Parents were right the whole time - you COULD put your eye out with those things!


******************************************************************


Join me again tomorrow for more Winter Weirdness - see you then!

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 35 ...

     What would the K.A.C. be without our yearly entry of Terrifying Tintinnabulations, aka the Epic Fail of Christmas Albums? None of these are made up (I actually OWN one of these, but I'm not saying which one ...), with each and every one guaranteed to bring a smile (or shudder of horror) to your face. Don't take my word for it, click the link if you're brave enough, then gaze in rapture (or malaise) at 17 gift possibilities for that Certain Someone on YOUR list! :) Best of all, if you click on the covers individually, you can see them in nice BIG clarity! Ready, Set, GO !!!


http://bizarrerecords.com/wordpress/tag/christmas/


***********************************************************


AND, just because it's Friday, and as a special K.A.C. shout-out to my friends Roger and Jennifer, I'll leave you with just two words: CHRISTMAS BADGERS!!!! 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_pWTlN15bc


Have a great weekend and come back Monday, as we ramp up the craziness the closer we get to December!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 37 and 36 ...







T - 37:


Continuing our Cinematic Christmas Chronicle, as promised, here is the Exclusive Captured Footage of how the Jolly Fat Man knows ALL! NOTHING can stop him! Is this proof that Santa is a MUTANT??? He and Kitty Pryde can both pass through walls! Don't believe me? Then take a look at the following:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp6pjLQzSK0






***************************************************************






On a sadder note, it would be remiss of me not to mention the passing of one of my favorite actors, Edward Woodward. Depending on your age, you either knew him from the UK series CALLAN, the American series THE EQUALIZER, or his more famous film roles, such as THE WICKER MAN or BREAKER MORANT. However, I also like to remember him from two lesser-known roles: first, as Merlin in MERLIN AND THE SWORD (aka ARTHUR THE KING), from 1985, a truly awful film made only bearable by his presence:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oufo0ZljFfw


Second, as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 1984 TV movie version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, starring George C. Scott. Woodward dominated every SECOND he was on the screen. Yes, he is jovial and literally larger than life upon first meeting Scrooge, but later on, when confronting him over his ill-chosen words, he BLISTERS the screen - one of the things I always loved about Woodward in THE EQUALIZER (and in this role) is that NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, did Righteous Indignation and Quiet Wrath like he did - I would literally sink in my chair watching him, eternally glad that wasn't me he was turning his bad-assery on - EEK!
Find this version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL - you will NOT be disappointed.


Edward Woodward - 1930 - 2009 - R.I.P.


****************************************************************


T - 36:


Now HERE'S somebody who's going to get coal in their stocking this year!


www.physlink.com/Fun/IsThereSanta.cfm


More tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 38 ...




Wake up, my sugar-plum sleepyheads! I've got a Christmas story of a "different" type to tell you about today ... it's all about a boy who liked to go to the movies. Well, one sunny Friday in 1984, right before Christmas, while living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he decided to play hooky and not go to work - he thought he'd take the day off and go to the movies instead! So off he went (after calling in "sick") downtown to the Skyway Theater to see an intriguing little holiday film called SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT - all about a disturbed young man who dons a Santa outfit and starts to off people in various holiday-themed ways.


He had seen the trailer and thought: "Now THAT looks interesting - I need to see this!" Did I mention he was a fan of horror films? Did I mention he liked "slasher" films, as well? Did I also mention he was supposed to be home in bed, calling in sick to work? Keep that last point in mind ...


So off I went ... umm, I mean, off "he" went ... to see the Very First Show at 10:30AM. Let others go off to their jobs, he said, I'M going to watch a cool film! Popcorn and drink in hand, he was directed by the ticket-taker to the (admittedly skeevy) basement theater, where the more "disreputable" films played. Looking around, he saw a handful of like-minded souls, as well as a few who were sleeping their drinking binges of the night before off, and settled in to his front-row center seat ... when all of a sudden, what to his wondering eyes should appear? Nope, not Santa! With a "WHOOSH!" like a THOUSAND SUNS, a GIGANTIC floodlight comes on in the back of the theater, accompanied by the whirring of cameras, and a local TV news investigative reporter screaming into her microphone: "We're here to see just WHAT KIND OF SICK INDIVIDUAL WOULD PAY MONEY TO SEE A MOVIE ABOUT SANTA CLAUS SLAUGHTERING INNOCENT PEOPLE!!!"


(A bit of an aside here: while I - NO, "HE!HE!" - was settling in, getting ready to enjoy the show, I missed the fun OUTSIDE - namely, the THRONG of Outraged Parents who had organized a protest of this SICK FILM --- now, mind you, there had been slasher films before this, but none that trod the Sacrosanct Santa tradition! So they had the placards up, the chants going, and had called the TV stations to cover it on the news ... which is where we pick up the story ...)


Upon hearing the Voice of God and being bathed in the Light of Purity, I (DARN IT! ...) "HE" let out a horrified "EEEEEEK!" and, reverting to his best military school training, did a beautiful duck-and-cover off the seat, rolled ACROSS the candy-covered floor and scuttled {along with the roaches} to the Men's Room, where he bravely hid for 5 - 10 minutes. I did mention he was supposed to be home sick, right? That would have been rather hard to explain when his co-workers saw the news that night ...


Thankfully, I managed to just miss the trailers ... (OK, I give up, it was ME - I ADMIT IT! :) ). The film was just as bad as people made it out to be, a minor entry in the slasher genre, but memorable to me for the near-miss of being on TV thanks to Slasher Santa.


Whew! Now WHY did I tell you all this, you ask? BEEEE-CAUSE the Brattle Theater here in Boston, in the spirit of the season, is SHOWING the film on December 12th as part of their "Ho-Ho-Horrors" Film Festival (from December 11th - 13th). Here's a peek at the original trailer!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDMTP8GAfV4


It's playing with 1974's BLACK CHRISTMAS, which I also saw when it first came out ... but that's another story. ;)


A quick note: I'll be out tomorrow, but Thursday I'll be back with two entries, including a little-know fact about Santa ... remember the whole "he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake"? Ever wonder HOW he knows that? Would you believe it's because he can WALK THROUGH WALLS???!!! It's TRUE! The SHOCKING footage right here Thursday! See you then!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 41, 40 AND 39 ...



Hi-dee Ho, my Holiday Hellions! Hope you had a good weekend ... did you miss us? We've got three days worth of updates to get to and you're gonna need some Visine before this one's done. Ready?


T - 41:


When you were a kid and you daydreamed about Christmas, what was your first thought? TOYS, of course! No, don't lie and say anything else, you and I BOTH KNOW it was toys! In that spirit, and in honor of the Rankin/Bass Island of Misfit Toys, we present the K.A.C. 2009 Worst Toys of the Year Award! Let's hope none of these show up under YOUR tree!


At # 3, we have the Rad Repeatin' Tarzan - words fail me on this bad boy - no, seriously, he's a BAD BOY - see for yourself! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1zRaPOzclI


At # 2, for the young "lady" in your life, the Pole Dancing Doll ... perezhilton.com/?p=67258


And, at # 1, the one, the only Wolverine of the X-Men! WHAT, you say? How could that be worse than these other two disasters? Take a look: www.themovieblog.com/2009/03/very-poor-x-men-origins-wolverine-product-design


T - 40:


From Anchorage, Alaska, comes the report of the one, the ONLY ... SNOWZILLA! He returns every year, BIGGER than before ... in 2007, he was 16 feet tall, then in 2008, he returned, Bigger and badder than ever, weighing in at 25 feet tall, and this year ... who knows? I'm waiting with baited breath for his return, but until then, take a look: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28378976/?GT1=43001


T - 39:


We end today's post on a rather somber note, involving a court case you may have missed. All I have to say to this is: "STOP THE INSANITY, PEOPLE! REINDEERS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO!" Read it and weep - consider this a public service message. Why? Because (as a wise man/action figure once said) "knowing is half the battle!"


A hearing into the case of Rudolph, a reindeer




PETER SCOWEN


From Wednesday's Globe and Mail


December 23, 2008 at 10:11 PM EST


In December of 2006, this rights commission was asked to investigate claims of discrimination based on physical disability with regards to a reindeer, Rudolph.
Thanks to the use of anatomically correct dolls brought to life in a stop-action dramatic recreation of the incidents under discussion, as well as at least one version of the events delivered in the form of a ridiculously catchy country western song, the commission has established the following facts:
* Rudolph suffers from a facial disfigurement.
* Rudolph is employed by Santa Claus, the owner and sole executive of a toy manufacturing conglomerate known as Santa Claus Holdings Inc. (herewith referred to as SCHI) and located on or near Earth's magnetic north pole (herewith referred to as the North Pole). Rudolph works in the delivery department, propulsion and guidance systems.
* In the North Pole, reindeer can fly. No one thinks this is weird.
* Like the lingerie section at department stores, SCHI delivers its entire annual production of Christmas gifts on a single night – Dec. 24.
* The alleged incidents took place in the winter months leading up to Christmas, 2005.
The commission established the following narrative of events:
Rudolph suffers from an unusual swelling and discoloration of the nose.
Medical doctors who examined him at the commission's request concluded that his disability is not due to any known medical condition.
For one thing, his nose is too shiny. Witnesses testified that some “would even say it glows,” raising the possibility of radiation poisoning. That was ruled out through the use of a Geiger counter. A diagnosis of congenital disfigurement is accepted by the commission.
It's clear that Rudolph's disfigurement was a source of shame for his parents. At one point, the child's father tried to blacken his son's nose with mud, a considerable effort given mud's scarcity in the North Pole. Donner eventually fashioned a prosthetic nose and forced Rudolph to wear it when out in public.
Rudolph's problems were exacerbated at school. The prosthetic nose was crudely made and often fell off, revealing Rudolph's disfigurement. His peers responded by ridiculing him and refusing to let him “join in any reindeer games,” according to one version of events.
Reindeer games are an intrinsic part of reindeer society, and Rudolph's exclusion from them was painful. No action was taken by teachers or the school principal to rectify the situation. The commission notes that the school is owned and operated by North Pole Education Systems Inc., a subsidiary of SCHI.
The cruel taunts and exclusion continued until Dec. 24, 2005, when climatic conditions resulted in the peculiar appearance of a thick blanket of fog in the North Pole, a polar desert where average temperatures on this date are in the minus-45-degree range.
It was at this point that Santa Claus himself approached Rudolph and offered him the chance to fill a newly created position in the delivery department: He asked Rudolph to help pull his gift-laden sleigh in the lead position.
Santa Claus's hope was that Rudolph's brightly lit red nose would serve as a beacon and help him guide his sleigh that night. It apparently worked, as the delivery went off without a hitch.
Rudolph's sudden and unexpected engagement by the region's single all-powerful employer changed his peers' attitudes toward him. “Then all the reindeer loved him,” one witness said. Some predicted that Rudolph would “go down in history.”
CONCLUSIONS
The commission finds this case to be troubling from start to finish. Its members note with sadness that the North Pole is dominated by a judgmental and Manichean character who divides the world into “naughty” and “nice.” Rudolph's systematic exclusion clearly comes from the top in a community that is controlled in all its aspects by a single employer.
There is little in that regard to distinguish the North Pole from any single-company town in apartheid-era South Africa, pre-First World War Ireland or the current New Brunswick.
The commission is also troubled that Santa Claus only intervened on behalf of a victim of repeated discrimination when his company's fortunes were on the line. While lawyers acting for SCHI at the hearings argued that the hiring of Rudolph was a clear indication of the company's policy of inclusion, the commission feels that it was motivated by a venal goal and that the company only played it otherwise after complaints were made to the commission.
RECOMMENDATIONS
The commission therefore finds that:
* SCHI discriminated against Rudolph, and it should pay Rudolph the sum of $18.5-million in damages.
* SCHI must immediately begin tolerance and diversity programs for all of its employees, starting at the top.
* SCHI must open itself to diversity audits on an annual basis and file a report with this commission indicating the progress it has made in finding work for red-nosed reindeers, tall elves and un-jolly humans.






There you have it! I'll be back tomorrow with more jolly-ness, while you try to sandblast Rad Repeatin' Tarzan out of your minds - see you!

K.A.C. 2009 - T - 42 Days ...

     Welcome back, my Shivering Snowmen! We've been waiting for you ... no, seriously, we've ALL been waiting for you ... come over here - just a little closer ...


*ahem* Moving on ... today we feature the Carol of the Robots - a cute little film I stumbled upon (literally) over at Stumbleupon.com - a veritable treasure trove of who-knows-what every time you click on Stumble! Hours of time-wasting fun - try it!


But back to our star of the day - turn up your sound and hum along!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_223974&feature=iv&hd=1&src_vid=6nnpX8Z1GTw&v=CNox3BktfiA




Have a great weekend, and I'll be back on Monday with not ONE, not TWO, but THREE entries (gotta keep that countdown straight!) - Stay Frosty!

Welcome to the Kitschmas Advent Calendar 2009! T-43 Days ... and Counting!!!



Greetings, my garrulous Grinches, and welcome to another spectacular edition of the Kitschmas Advent Calendar! For those of you new to the game, a brief bit of history is in order: The K.A.C. started a few years ago as a computer wallpaper contest between myself and my work-study students, as to who could find the absolute oddest holiday-themed wallpaper. There were some doozies, with my favorite being the "Gary Coleman and Mr. T Christmas" being the winner!


As most of my original students had graduated and gone on to better things, I would hear back from them about the contest, and we would continue to email new oddities as we found them. So last year (2008) I decided to expand it from just wallpaper to daily links to odd stories, photos, traditions, etc. - and opened it up to some of my other friends to share in the goofiness. The starting date coincided with the day that a local radio station (WODS-FM, Oldies 103.3FM - located at
http://www.wods.com) started playing Christmas and Holiday Music around the clock 24/7 (which in 2008 began, believe it or not, on Veteran's Day!) ... from Santa's Grotty Grotto to the simultaneous Best AND Worst Holiday Wallpaper of 2008 (of presents opening children for Christmas!), it (hopefully) lessened the stress of the season and gave everyone a good laugh.


This year, I'm expanding the K.A.C. to GLOBAL proportions! If you're reading this, you're either a veteran of last year's joy, or a Facebook friend - if you like what you see, feel free to pass this link on to friends of yours so THEY can enjoy it, too! I will be updating this on a daily basis, Monday-Friday, all the way down to Christmas, so check back EVERY DAY for the next batch of jaw-dropping wonder!


So there you have it ... I have another great batch of December Lunacy to spring upon you all, from Robot Carols to the Yule Pooping Log, from Krampus (the Anti-Santa) to the Very First Appearance of St. Nick on Film ... and it all begins just as soon as Oldies 103.3 starts their ... why, wait - what's this I hear??? DO MY EARS DECEIVE ME??? NO, THEY DON'T!!! :):):)


Go to the link above, click on Holiday Music, and enjoy it with me! Oh, did I forget to mention that I play the Holiday Music ALL DAY LONG AT WORK, EVERY DAY, FROM NOW TO CHRISTMAS??? Don't you wish you worked here? ;) Of course you do!


*****************************************************************************


Well, then, let's get this party started! We begin with a link to 8 Truly Strange Christmas Customs, with the aforementioned Krampus, the Anti-Santa, and the Yule Pooping Log, among others ... this will give you an idea what you're in for!


http://www.en8848.com.cn/Article/Culture/Religion/60442.html


Fasten your seat belts, take that Egg Nog straight, no chaser, and report back here tomorrow, Santa Soldier! That's an order! See you then!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

INTERMISSION



Hey, there! Just a quick note that Conjure Cinema is taking a short break ... we're moving! No, not the blog ... my family and I are LITERALLY moving into our very own home! As a result, I'll be offline for the next couple of weeks, but will be back with the next entry in the continuing saga of Conjure Cinema the first week of November. Have a safe and Happy Halloween! See you in November, when we start up the 2009 K.A.C. - what's that you ask??? Just wait and see!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RITUAL OF EVIL (1970, TVM) (shown June, 1992)



With the success of FEAR NO EVIL (see my previous entry), Universal ordered a second pilot film for BEDEVILED, bringing back Louis Jourdan's Dr. David Sorrell character, a psychiatrist who deals in cases of the occult, and Wilfrid Hyde-White as his mentor and teacher Harry Snowden. The case this time involves a former patient of Sorrell's, Aline Wiley (Carla Borelli), an heiress who has committed suicide, and who was involved with a cult of devil worshippers. Her mother (Anne Baxter) (pictured) insists she's being haunted by Aline, her new husband (John McMartin) (also pictured) thinks it's all nonsense, and younger sister Loey (Belinda Montgomery) may be the next victim.

Before I go any further, let me say a word or two about Belinda ... she was one half of a one-two punch to the gut of the WORST child actors Hollywood has ever crapped out. The ONLY child actor worse than her was her younger brother of 11 years, Lee Montgomery, who would sometimes be billed as Lee H. Montgomery or Lee Harcourt Montgomery. The two of them were the "go-to kids" for many horror films and TV shows, and stank up a LOT of celluloid. Lee's biggest hit was the ratfest BEN (the sequel to WILLARD), while Belinda was in this and had the title role in another TVM from 1973, THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER. She almost single-handedly sinks this film with her cloying performance as Loey.

To be fair, she's not completely to blame. Anne Baxter gives such an eccentric, over-the-top performance in this, at times you think she channeling Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULVEVARD-LITE. From the opening frames where she's wandering the grounds calling for Aline, to the whole ludicrous "did we kill a German Shepherd or did we kill a wandering hippie who Saw Too Much?" subplot, there's more than enough bad acting to go around. McMartin is not much better, as the boozehound stepfather in denial over any shady goings-on, and trying to get "friendly" with Loey --- the whole character is creepy. I can understand his trying to send her FedEx to Satan ASAP, just to get that annoying whining voice out of his head if nothing else, but still ...

Nature (thankfully) abhors a vacuum, though, and just as there are bad performers in this film, there are also two excellent performances. Georg Stanford Brown co-stars as Larry Richmond, a Vietnam vet and musician who has partied with Aline and has (perhaps) learned too much, and must be silenced by the cult. Far and above everyone else in the film (except Jourdan, of course) is Diana Hyland's character of Leila Barton, a love interest for Sorrell and also the main manipulator of the film.

With her Satanic powers, a leering statue of Pan (subbing in for the Infernal One) whose eyes glow when she makes her Death Spell, some black candles and a picture of the victim, she goes to town, killing off cast members one by one in various picturesque ways. Larry gets his out by the seaside in his rented house, as well as others, until finally Loey is in line as the next sacrifice.

Sorrell figures it out, and confronts Leila - in a refreshing touch, she not only admits her guilt, but tells him blatantly there's no way he can stop her, using her seductive wiles to try and make him her lover and consort, instead. He leaves to try and save Loey, just as Leila pulls out the statue, the candles ... and a picture of Sorrell. As he's driving on the busy freeway, he becomes disoriented - Leila is using her powers to make his death look like an accident. Sorrell is made of stronger stuff, however, and manages to overcome her spell and save Loey, exposing the cult at the same time.

Rushing back to Leila's apartment for one final confrontation and to put a stop to her killings, Sorrell finds it completely empty - the sorceress has gotten away completely, with her words ringing in his ears of how they could have been great together ... "another time, my love" ... setting up her character's possible return if the show had gotten the greenlight to go to series.

The music (again by Billy Goldenberg) is highly reminiscent of the themes used in FEAR NO EVIL, heavily borrowing the sonic tone and mood of the first film. Sadly, editor Byron Chudnow did not return for the sequel, as it could have used his master touch. The film commits the gravest sin (no pun intended) for a horror film, feature or TV-wise: it's just plain not scary. It tries (BOY, does it try), but it never achieves more than an unsettling mood in places, and that's just not enough. This was borne out by the low ratings it received upon its initial airing, and was the final nail in BEDEVILED's coffin (sorry!) for it to be picked up as a series. As it stands now, it's an interesting occult footnote.

Next Time: A lovely witch, her snarky brother and the slinky Pyewacket put a spell on James Stewart in the all-star BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) (shown May, 1992)










Thorne Smith (1892-1934) was a wonderfully humorous fantasy author whose majority of work consisted of some poor nebbish running afoul of the supernatural, with hilarious (as well as erotic and alcoholic) results. His best known work and claim to fame was TOPPER, made into both a film and television series. He was also the author of such works as TURNABOUT, SKIN AND BONES, NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS (my personal favorite of his works) and THE PASSIONATE WITCH (which he was working on when he died - the book was completed by Norman H. Matson).

THE PASSIONATE WITCH, when optioned and made into a film, had its name changed to I MARRIED A WITCH (a more audience-friendly title). Directed by Rene' Clair, it starred the lovely Veronica Lake (pictured above), she of the famous peek-a-boo haircut, and Fredric March, who has the distinction of being the only actor to win the Academy Award for a "monster" role (in 1931's DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE).

The basic plot concerns the Wooley family - 1672: New England Puritan Jonathan Wooley (March) has two witches, Jennifer (Lake) and her father Daniel (Cecil Kellaway) burned at the stake, but not before she places a curse on him and all his descendants that they will all marry the 'wrong woman', thus making their lives a living Hell. One quick montage of marital grief later, and we come upon our current protagonist, Wallace Wooley (also March).

1942: Wallace Wooley is campaigning for Governor of the state; as such, he can't afford even the hint of scandal. After a fund-raising speaking engagement at a downtown hotel, the spirits (in smoke form) of Jennifer and Daniel arrive, to continue the torment of the latest Wooley scion. Setting the hotel ablaze, they force its evacuation, but not before Wallace catches a glimpse of a woman left behind. Gallant to the last, he rushes back in to save the woman, which turns out to be a completely nude Jennifer. He stumbles back outside, vivacious blonde wrapped in his coat, to the accompaniment of photographer's flashbulbs, front-page headlines and many a comment about "manly" Wallace (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!).

All of this does NOT sit well with Wallace's fiancee' Estelle Masterson (Susan Hayward), a shrewish woman whose marriage is one more of political convenience than love ... that would be curse enough for any man, but Jennifer wants her revenge on the latest Wooley, and is enjoying her new-found body after 300 years of being a spirit. She decides to slip him a love potion, so he'll go crazy with desire for her on the eve of his wedding and be miserable the rest of his life. As it happens, however, Jennifer drinks the potion by mistake, falling head over heels in love with Wallace, and determined to make him hers.

Now begins the comedy of errors that Thorne Smith was best known for: Daniel, Jennifer's father, is dead set against her marrying a mortal and is doing everything he can to sabotage it; Jennifer is throwing herself at Wallace, literally and figuratively; Estelle is trying to get out of the marriage any way she can, but is being forced into going through with it; and Wallace is getting more and more crazed trying to keep everything under control before his political ship hits the reefs and founders.

The scene at the wedding is one of the comedy highlights of the film, as Jennifer is determined to stop Wallace's marriage at any cost: from high winds inside the church that sends candles sputtering and people flying, to the many and varied ways of stopping the church singer from starting her song "I Love You Truly" to get the bride down the aisle. It's one of those great moments in film that get funnier and funnier the more times it goes wrong; you'll never hear that song without laughing after this.

More witchy hijinks ensue and the wedding is called off. Wallace is a ruined man, and Jennifer truly DOES fall in love with him - she and Daniel then turn their magic to getting him elected (in another silly montage, with even his political opponents endorsing Wooley for candidacy), and Jennifer and Wallace are married. The film ends with a nice bit, looking in on the Wooleys and their family: while Jennifer is behaving, her daughter comes galloping in on a broomstick, a chip off the old block ... and you just KNOW life is going to be anything but quiet for Governor Wooley.

A big hit at the time of its release, I MARRIED A WITCH had more than its share of problems behind the cameras, mainly (according to the various reports of the time) due to the diva-like antics of Veronica Lake. She disliked Fredric March so much, she would pull malicious tricks on him, like eating garlic before their kissing scenes, or wearing a 40-pound weight under her nightgown for the repeated takes of March carrrying her (see lobby card above). He became so disgusted with her he nicknamed the film "I Married A Bitch".

Like or dislike her, Lake does carry the movie - her malicious witch having her tables turned on her and her lovelorn pining are quite cute, and Lake is an accomplished comic actress. The film has always been considered the basis for the television series BEWITCHED - although the TV producers denied it, by comparing the two, it's pretty obvious that is the case. It is also the precursor to 1958's BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE, which we'll cover in a later edition of this blog. As of this writing, I MARRIED A WITCH is not available on DVD, but it does show up on Turner Classic Movies quite often, so keep your eyes peeled for it - it's worth a look!

Next Time: "Occult investigator" David Sorell returns in the sequel to the TVM FEAR NO EVIL to battle a witch on a killing streak and a very naughty statue of Pan in RITUAL OF EVIL!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SPECTRE (1977, TVM) (shown April, 1992)




It's a good thing Gene Roddenberry is known as "the father of STAR TREK", for he could just as easily been tagged with "the father of the most failed TV pilots ever made". Consider: during Gene's post-STAR TREK career, he tried to recapture lightning in a bottle with such fare as GENESIS II (1973), THE QUESTOR TAPES (1974), PLANET EARTH (1974), and, when the sci-fi well had dried up, he gave the supernatural a go with SPECTRE.

Of the four, I believe SPECTRE had the best chance to continue as a series, had any of the networks bitten. The pilot's plot concerns occult criminologist William Sebastian (excellently portrayed by Robert Culp) and his long-suffering, reluctant partner in crime, Dr. Ham Hamilton (Gig Young), who gets dragged back in one more time to a case that Sebastian is investigating. Think Holmes and Watson, via Monk and Ham from the DOC SAVAGE pulps (I always wonder if that's where Gene got the name for Gig Young's character). The two have a nice, easy bickering rapport back and forth, and Ham is also Sebastian's physician, watching over him and his worsening heart condition (a hole in his heart that refuses to close or heal) that occurred during an unspecified occult battle in the past.

When the film opens, Sebastian and Ham have been called in to investigate the sordid goings-on at London's Cyon House by the Lady of the House, Anitra Cyon (Ann Bell). She is convinced her older brother, Sir Geoffrey (James Villiers), has gotten in too far with his occult dabbling and is in trouble. Anitra shows up at Sebastian's house, calling off the investigation and offering to pay for their time. Sebastian takes her into the library, and after a few quiet tests, pulls out the Apocraphyl Book of Tobit. Slamming it into her chest, she screams and disintegrates ... and Sebastian's supposition that it was a succubus posing as Anitra is both borne out and a rousing opening to the film.

More diabolical happenings occur on their way to London as the Cyon private jet, piloted by Mitri (Dimitri) Cyon (John Hurt), develops engine trouble over the ocean and goes into a dive. While Ham is frantic, Sebastian takes it all in stride, knowing the demon in charge is playing with them. Upon arriving in London, they drive to see a fellow occultist, Dr. Qualus, who is also investigating the Cyon case, only to arrive slightly after his murder by a demon. While investigating his death in his burning house, Sebastian comes upon Qualus' notes, just as the demon returns. They are protected by standing in the center of Qualus' pentacle, frustrating the demon until the fire department arrives.

Sebastian and Ham proceed to Cyon House, where they meet Sir Geoffrey, a libertine who openly indulges his sexual (and other) appetites. His sister Anitra is a pale, repressed shadow of the earlier succubus, and she begs Sebastian to save both her brothers and break the evil surrounding Cyon House. Upon reading Qualus' notes, Sebastian finds that the trouble began three years before when the Druid's Fire Pit on the Cyon property was excavated. The notes go on to explain that the Pit had originally held in place the demon Asmodeus, who is now free and (supposedly) inhabiting the body of Sir Geoffrey.

As they explore the pit and find one half of the Sacred Seal that held Asmodeus in place for twenty-five centuries, Sebastian puts together a plan for their final showdown. Sending Ham into London to get the elements to forge a golden bullet from a melted-down piece of the Sacred Seal, as well as holy water, they return to the Pit. The bullet is dropped and rolls behind one half of the Pit's door. As they pry it open, they find not only the bullet, but also the mummified body of Mitri, holding the other half of the Sacred Seal. It turns out HE was the one who broke the Seal, and the force of the door exploding outward crushed him to death, leaving Asmodeus free to roam the Earth again, in Mitri's body.

Retrieving the bullet, Sebastian and Ham hide behind pillars just as Asmodeus' coven arrives, carrying the bound Anitra as sacrifice - she is laid upon an altar as Asmodeus/Mitri calls forth Sir Geoffrey to defile her, then kill her. Sir Geoffrey regains his humanity and refuses to perform this final indignity, whereupon Asmodeus calls Sebastian forth, knowing he was there the entire time (he IS a powerful demon, after all!). Sebastian and Ham step forth, while Asmodeus offers Sebastian "a gift - of life", bringing forth the pinned voodoo doll that has debilitated Sebastian for so long. Asmodeus removes the pin, Sebastian's chest wound instantly heals, and Asmodeus asks for one thing in return: that Sebastian complete the sacrifice Lord Geoffrey was not able to do.

Sebastian stands over the sobbing Anitra, then at the last moment, hurls forth the holy water, sending the coven into a frenzy and disrupting the ceremony. He then faces off against Asmodeus, using the two halves of the Sacred Seal to send him back to Hell. Asmodeus fights back until Sebastian fires the golden bullet into him, which changes him into his full, reptilian demon form and, raging and bringing down the entire Pit with him, goes back to the Depths, dragging his coveners (and the reformed Sir Geoffrey) with him.

The coda finds the team back at Sebastian's house, when Anitra arrives to thank them. She has a rare and valuable painting for Sebastian, and something a bit more ... personal ... for Ham. As they step off to the library for privacy, Sebastian reminds Ham where to find the Apocraphyl Book of Tobit, should he need it. As he and his housekeeper Lilith (Majel Barrett) are looking over the painting, the fireplace flares, a howling wind comes from nowhere, and Sebastian sees the glowing "A" of Asmodeus as the signature on the painting! To be continued ...

Sadly, SPECTRE was NOT continued - Roddenberry tried his damnedest (if you'll pardon the pun) to get the pilot to series mode, actively recruiting his Trek fans to spread the word, but all for naught. Just as well, for in a short two years, he would be back in a familiar space (ahem), helming STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.

While SPECTRE has yet to have an 'official' release on DVD, it does show quite often on the Fox Movie Channel. You should catch it and record it the next time it plays. Why? Because it is an alternate version of the film, that was released theatrically in Europe, and included female topless nudity during the final coven orgy. Oddly enough, THIS is the version Fox Movie Channel shows!

UPDATE: Word has just come in today (March 24th, 2010) that Robert Culp has passed away, age 79. R.I.P.

Next Time: Our first Thorne Smith fantasy is unspooled, with the feature that inspired television's BEWITCHED, I MARRIED A WITCH!